Trait points are the talent points of Guild Wars 2. Trait points are earned by leveling up, starting at level 11. At level 80, you have a potential to spend 80 points on traits. Traits can be reset by a trainer or by using a training manual.
Traits are grouped into 5 categories and each group has two subsections: Major and Minor. Major traits allow players to decide which traits they want to invest in, whereas minor traits have only 1 trait line.
Investing trait points grants you an overall stat bonus or some other buff for each point you invest into that trait. In this guide to the Engineer’s trait points, you will discover what the 5 categories are and what the bonuses are for investing in each trait.
Engineer Trait Categories
You can see all your traits in-game and spend trait points by opening the hero panel and selecting “Skills and Traits” from the menu. From here, you can put points in whatever traits you like. Here are the 5 categories of traits that Engineers have to choose from:
- Alchemy – Each point spent here increases Vitality by 10 and Boon Duration by 1% (also known as “concentration”). Traits in this category are primarily concerned with buffing the effects of Elixirs in addition to causing you to drink Elixirs automatically when certain conditions are met (i.e. dropping below a certain health threshold).
- Explosives – Each point here increase your Power by 10 and increases condition duration by 1% (also known as “Expertise”). Traits in this tree are focused on explosives (not surprisingly). Most of your explosives derive from the Bomb Kit and Grenade Kit, so this trait tree is for players who like to use these two types of abilities.
- Firearms – Each point spent here increases your Precision by 10. Precision increases your chance to critically hit. It also gives you 1 Malice point. Each Malice point increases the damage dealt by condition effects by 1%. Most of your Firearm traits modify your Rifle and Pistol skills and damage, though there are a few powerful traits here for players who like to use other weapons.
- Inventions – Each, though point in Inventions increases your Toughness by 10 and your Compassion by 10. Toughness reduces the amount of damage you take and Compassion increases the healing you do. As a result, Inventions is good for people who play support and healing roles, as it allows you to survive for longer to debuff and interrupt enemies and increases your effectiveness at healing and buffing allies.
- Tools – Each point in Tools increases your Prowess by 10 (increases the damage bonus of critical hits) and increases your Ingenuity by 1 (reduces cooldown of Tool Belt skills by 1%). This talent tree is all about the tool belt, though it has a variety of skills that can be used by players of many trees.
Good Engineer Trait Combos
You have enough points to invest fully in two trait categories or partially invest into three (or even more). As a result, your build options can vary greatly since you are not forced to spec into one talent tree or the other. Below, I will finish up this Engineer traits guide by discussing some good combos and good talents in each tree.
If you like to use turrets, you should consider investing into both the Tools and Invention trees. Inventions definitely has the most important turret trait, Rifled Turret Barrels (increases damage by 15% and boosts range), but some of the Inventions talents are great too (self-repairing turrets for example).
Alternatively, you can create a hybrid turret and healing combo, using Alchemy and Inventions. Inventions increases your healing by boosting Compassion, and Alchemy has most of the traits which directly effect healing skills. This can be a potent combination for World vs World, particularly on defense when the enemy has to come into range of your turrets.
There is a lot of flexibility when using a Firearms-oriented build, since not many traits outside of the Firearms tree are a “slam dunk” for boosting Rifle and Pistol damage. For a purely offensive build, Firearms has a few easy to grab traits, like Empowering Adrenaline (5% extra damage when Endurance is not full) and Enhance Performance (gain 3 stacks of Might when using a healing skill).